Disclaimer: These suggestions are not professional medical advice, just things that have worked for real people living with depression and their families.

Useful Web Resources

What can the depressed person do?

Depression is one of the most treatable of mental illnesses. Here are things that can be done to treat and limit the effects of depression. They have worked for others.

  • Psychotherapy
  • Medication from a psychiatrist
  • Exercise
  • Meditation
  • Eat a balanced diet.
  • Little or no alcohol or caffeine.
  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Avoid getting over-committed
  • Recognize warning signs of a coming depressive spell and take action to minimize it.
  • Indulge in some creative activity
  • Make yourself laugh, cry, or get angry in a safe place.
  • Join a depression support group
  • Help someone else.
  • Learn how to love yourself; there is no one else on Earth quite like you.

What about Suicidal Thoughts?

People who are depressed may have suicidal thoughts. They should get help immediately. Here are some resources:

Many find the following helpful when helping someone who has suicidal thoughts:

  • Talk Openly about Suicide
  • Listen
  • Be Non-Judgmental, Available
  • Offer Hope
  • Make a Pact
  • Don’t Swear Secrecy
  • Take Action: remove means
  • Get Help from Suicide Organizations
  • If an Imminent Plan, Call 911, or go to Emergency Room

What can family or friends do?

These suggestions are not professional medical advice, just things that have worked for real people living with depression and their families.

  • Get professional help
  • Recognize the signs of depression
  • Tell them that you love them
  • Make sure that they get the help that they need
  • If they are suicidal, get them immediate attention.
  • Visit them
  • Support their continuing therapy
  • Support them in finding the best medications
  • Encourage exercise, good diet, adequate sleep, creative activities
  • Learn to recognize the warning signs
  • Avoid doing things that trigger their depression
  • Keep days structured.
  • Keep guns out of the house
  • Be patient
  • Join your own support group
  • Have a life of your own.
  • Make the best of their good days
  • Live one day at a time.

Books that have been helpful in living with depression

  • Ali, Hadrat, Living and Dying with Grace
  • Arieti, Silvano and Bemporad, Jules, Severe and Mild Depression
  • Bender, Sue, Everyday Sacred
  • Boisen, Anton, The Exploration of the Inner World
  • Boorstein, Sylvia, Don’t Just Do Something, Sit There
  • Boorstein, Sylvia, It’s Easier Than You Think – The Buddhist Way to Happiness
  • Carter, Rosalynn and Golant, Susan, Helping Someone with Mental Illness
  • Chodron, Pema, The Wisdom of No Escape
  • Cook, Cynthia and Dworkin, Susan, The MS Guide to a Woman’s Health
  • Copeland, The Depression Workbook
  • Cronkite, Kathy, On the Edge of Darkness – Conversations about Conquering Depression
  • Dayringer, Richard, Dealing with Depression – Five Pastoral Interventions
  • Dean, Amy, Peace of Mind
  • De Saint Exupery, Antoine, The Little Prince
  • EA International, Emotions Anonymous
  • Edwards, Betty, Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain
  • Elliott, William, Tying Rocks to Clouds
  • Field, Joanna, A Life of One’s Own
  • Fieve, Ronald, Moodswing
  • Gregg-Schroeder, Susan, In the Shadow of God’s Wings – Grace in the Midst of Depression
  • Hanh, Thich Nhat, Being Peace, The Miracle of Mindfulness James, William, The Varieties of Religious Experience
  • Jampolsky, Gerald, Ordinary People, Goodbye to Guilt, Teach Only Love, Love is Letting Go of Fear
  • Judson, Sylvia, The Quiet Eye
  • Jung, Karl, Memories, Dreams, Reflections
  • Jung, Karl, Psychology and Religion Kabat-Zinn, Jon, Where Ever You Go There You Are Levine, Stephen, Who Dies, A Gradual Awakening, Healing Into Life and Death, A Year to Live Liebman, Joshua, Peace of Mind
  • Lindberg, Ann, Gifts From the Sea
  • Manning, Martha, Undercurrents – A Life Beneath the Surface
  • Miller, Timothy, How to Want What You Have Moore, Thomas, The Reenchantment of Everyday Life Muktananda, Swami, Meditate
  • Myss, Caroline, Anatomy of the Spirit Papolos and Papolos, Overcoming Depression
  • Prather, Hugh, Notes on How to Live in the World and Still be Here, Notes to Myself, Notes on Love and Courage, The Quiet Answer, I Touch the Earth The Earth Touches Me, There is a Place Where You Are Not Alone
  • Remen, Rachel Naomi, Kitchen Table Wisdom Rogers, Carl, On Becoming a Person
  • Styron, William, Darkness Visible – A Memoir of Madness
  • Thompson, Tracy, The Beast – A Journey Through Depression
  • Thorne, Julia and Rothstein, Larry, You are Not Alone – Words of experience and hope for the journey through depression
  • Ulanov, Ann and Barry, Religion and the Unconscious
  • Wakefield, Dan, The Story of Your Life
  • Woodman, Marion, Leaving My Father’s House – A Journey to Conscious Femininity
  • Wulff, David, Psychology of Religion